India's palm oil imports declined 14.59 per cent to 4,39,173 tonne during May this year, but there was a sharp rise in shipments of crude sunflower oil, industry body SEA said on Thursday.
India, the world's leading vegetable oil buyer, imported 5,14,022 tonne palm oils in May 2022.
However, the country's total vegetable oil imports declined marginally to 10,58,263 tonne in May this year from 10,61,416 tonne in the year-ago period.
The share of palm oil is about 59 per cent in the country's total vegetable oil imports.
According to Solvent Extractors' Association (SEA), import of palm oil products increased sharply to 5,348,396 tonne during November-May period of 2022-23 oil year due to price parity as compared to 3,739,783 tonne in the year-ago period.
"The share of palm oil increased to 59 per cent from 50 per cent, while soft oils import reduced. However in last two months, shipment of sunflower and soybean oils sharply increased," SEA Executive Director B V Mehta said in a statement.
Among palm oil products, import of crude palm oil (CPO) declined to 3.48 lakh tonne in May this year from 4.09 lakh tonne in the year-ago period, as per the SEA data.
Similarly, the import of RBD palmolein declined to 85,205 tonne from 1 lakh tonne, while that of crude palm kernel oil (CPKO) rose to 5,850 tonne from 4,265 tonne in May.
Among soft oils, import of soyabean oil declined to 3.18 lakh tonne in May this year as against 3.73 lakh tonne in the same period of 2022.
Import of sunflower oil increased sharply to 2.95 lakh tonne, as against 1.18 lakh tonne in May 2022.
According to SEA, edible oils stock as on June 1 this year is estimated at 7.38 lakh tonne and about 22.03 lakh tonne is in the pipeline.
India imports palm oil mainly from Indonesia and Malaysia, and a small quantity of crude soft oil, including soyabean from Argentina. Sunflower oil is imported from Ukraine and Russia.